August 29, 2007

We built this city

I recently moved from the Oklahoma City area to the St. Louis metropolitan area. It's a pretty big move to make. I lived in Oklahoma since I was 10 and as much as I complained about the people, the weather, everything, it's still difficult for me to get used to calling somewhere else home.

So I thought up a neat idea would be a type of "the new resident's guide to St. Louis". My friends in Oklahoma could writhe in agony at the entertainment at my disposal (I know it's nothing compared to sitting with meemaw on the porch in 100ยบ weather, sipping sweet tea) but that's not the point.

So what the hell should you do if you're in St. Louis either newly transplanted or visiting?
- Go down to the Loop. It's the home to Vintage Vinyl, food of every variety (Ethopian, anybody?), live music... it's sort of what Campus Corner near the University of Oklahoma campus aspires to be and what 6th Street in Austin is (but much smaller).
- Recreate the scene of vandalism from National Lampoon's Vacation. The Simpsons have taken their fair share of shots at East St. Louis (it being facetiously listed as the 300th best city to live in; "East St Louis?" to which Homer responds "Is there any OTHER St. Louis?") but one more couldn't hurt. Besides, how can you not love a town where Tina met Ike and Darius Miles grew up?
- The Zoo. It's free but you do have to pay to park. So, free is a bit of a misnomer. Either way, it's a quality zoo. They have penguins and puffins and really that's all you need to know. The bird house is great, the bears (all varieties) are wonderful... it's just fun.

This isn't all there is to do. That's basically all I've got time to write about, though. I'll explore a few more places, expound upon the Loop and other trendy shit-hot spots, and make myself look like a total dumbass. Enjoy the show.

August 28, 2007

I'm not writing any more reviews

I'm not good at it and when I'm disappointed, it's obvious. I strive to remove myself as much as possible from the review but I fail often.

So let's just say the new Rilo Kiley album style hops a lot, and I don't like style hopping. But kudos to the AV Club for presenting a polished turd as a diamond with it's glowing "A" review that both cheapened their previous album and made me throw up in my mouth.

August 14, 2007

Dammit, Jason Lee

How the hell do you go from being a pro skater, to being in scores of Kevin Smith films, to being Earl in My Name is Earl, to then voicing Underdog in Underdog and being Dave Seville in the upcoming Alvin and the Chipmunks movie?

You're dead to me, Scientologist.

August 11, 2007

Whistling is the new "in" thing:

Went to the Peter Bjorn & John show here in St. Louis the other night. It was honestly, even without the drinks, quite a good performance. I decided to take it upon myself that the people around me would become the "Bjorn cheering section". Why? Because he was cool and he's also a bassist, like myself. At one point Bjorn came over to our side of the stage and asked "Was that good for you? Yah? Ok, goot. Gooot." His swedish sounded more german...but that's just how us Yanks roll I guess.

Though I've listened to their album, Writers Block, in full, I never really grasped how many awkward sounds and whistling there really is. While the whole concert was pretty great and extremely enjoyable, the rendition of "Amsterdam" could have been better. Bjorn took it really chill and Peter tried to make it a bit too artsy for its own good. This, of course, did not ruin the concert.

I'd suggest that if you have the chance and are in the mood for a fun, kind of rock out/kind of chill night...go see PB&J. You'll have a great time. Talk to the boys after the show, too. By the way they acted before, during and after the show it seems as though they are fans of the attention. Bjorn told me they "were honored and happy to play before the American crowds", so go have a good time. Ask Bjorn for a kiss while you're at it, I know for a fact that you'll get one. I speak from experience.
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Jenny Lewis will be in the Sirius Radio studios today promoting the new Rilo Kiley album, Under the Blacklight, to be released August 21st.

"Moneymaker" is the first single off the album and is followed by "Silver Lining". As the worlds biggest Rilo Kiley fan, I must say that this should be an extremely interesting release as it doesn't really fit any one mold. However, I'll let everyone else be the judge as to the question, was all the time off for side projects to their advantage or not? Regardless of what people think Rilo Kiley is just as good as The Elected and Jenny's "solo" projects.
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I did as Gorilla Vs. Bear suggested and ordered the free DVD released by Panda Bear featuring a few of his solo shows from the year. Go here to order it for yourself. I know that I'm pretty damn excited.

In other related news, Animal Collective is headed out on a fall tour starting September 5th in Boston at The Avalon and will be stopping here in St. Louis on September 24th at The Gargoyle on Washington University's campus. The cost is $15 for the general public...so go.

August 7, 2007

Holy Reissue, Batman!


I'm a big fan of the band Shudder to Think and have long desired to hear the long out of print first LP, Curses, Spells, Voodoo, Mooses. It first came out on Sammich Records in 1989 and I'd heard it was a really remarkable album, showcasing the band's powerful and unique blend of punk, glam, and melody.

Apparently, Dischord had rereleased Curses on CD for the first time and I didn't know about it. I'm disappointed in me, too.

Finally got around to it and it's wonderful. It's got all of the trademarks of Shudder to Think's later years, but with much more youthful zest. Strange time changes, obtuse lyrics, Craig Wedren's caterwaul/vibrato. The band is driven by punk much more so than their major label offerings (if there is any hint of punk in 50,000 BC), or even on the last Dischord release Get Your Goat. "Abysmal Yellow Popcorn Wall" is a powerful song with so much earnestness that you just KNOW what Wedren means even if you can't comprehend the lyrics. Easily he has to have one of the best singers in "post-punk". In Curses, it's raw and not ready for primetime.

I'm a terrible album reviewer, but I can tell you that this album is one of a kind. I can't think of anything or anybody who has even tried to pull off what Shudder to Think has done in one album, much less spanning an entire career. They toned things down at the end of their run (their contributions to the Velvet Goldmine soundtrack and their work on First Love, Last Rites and High Art can hardly be compared to their album work), but everything was complicated and thought provoking.

Alright, the wank fest is over. You can go about your business.

August 2, 2007

Reflection



It's been almost two days since the trade deadline passed in Major League Baseball. Other teams did things but I don't care about them. Whenever he gets the time, I'm sure Furge will write some melange about the Dodgers and Motown... until then, you will all have to deal with me coming to grips with supporting the San Francisco Giants.

The Giants move, at first, frightened me. We traded Matt Morris, 7-7 with a 4.35 ERA, to Pittsburgh for Rajai Davis and "a player to be named later." I did the obligatory Google of Davis and was disappointed to see we traded a pitcher for a speedy outfielder. I was ready to again write about GM Brian Sabian needing to be ran out of San Francisco (which is still true)... then I sorted through the facts.. er, stats.

MattyMo, in the last month, had a whopping 8.48 ERA. The only other Giants who came close were Jack Taschner with 8.00 in 9 innings of work and Barry fucking Zito with 7.82. Then I come to find out the Giants were shopping Morris around to get rid of his contract (set to earn 10m), even going so far as to say they'd pay large bits of it to sweeten the deal.

The league is a big place and there are obviously GMs more blind than Sabain. The Pirates GM, Dave Littlefield, would be one of those blind GMs. He not only opted to take on Morris, but take on all of Morris's bloated contract. So we dump an aging, failing arm, his contract, and get a center field prospect out of the Pirates ignorance.

And fortunately, to keep me from feeling too bad, MattyMo ran his mouth about the staff at San Francisco. Good riddance.

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We'll get some music news going here soon enough. Surely whatever readership we have (Jenn has access to the Google Analytics, not me) thinks I'm some dumb jock who listens to Hinder and calls everybody a "fag."

Trust me, my goal with SS wasn't to make it so sports centric. But that's the only thing I have going right now, unless somebody wants to see me write about the differences between UHaul and Budget.